Dharmagiri Outreach was initiated by Kittisaro and Thanissara in 1995 in the Southern Drakensberg and Midlands of KwaZulu Natal South Africa. These are rural areas local to Dharmagiri Hermitage where social cohesion, economic empowerment and overall well being have broken down and which is one of the main epicenters of the HIV/Aids pandemic. Much of the true impact of the pandemic is still hidden from public awareness; the ubiquitous funerals, the alarming increase of orphaned and vulnerable children, the lack of information, food security and access to basic facilities alongside the difficulty in accessing treatment and the ease with which the HIV virus spreads. With the help of our many supporters, in particular San Francisco Insight, London Insight and Buddhist Global Relief, Dharmagiri has been able to make a difference.

Since 1995 Dharmagiri Outreach has initiated or supported:

  • Prison meditation groups in South African Prisons
  • HIV/Aids educational workshops
  • Skills Trainings & Student Sponsorship
  • School computers, water systems, school building upgrades
  • Land acquisition and a staff building at the Buddhist Retreat Centre
  • Small loans for funerals, buildings and general welfare
  • Woza Moya Project
  • Khuphuka Project

Currently Dharmagiri supports Kulungile Project. Kulungile means 'All is Well' and was founded by Sister Abegail Ntleko in Underberg, the local town to Dharmagiri hermitage. Kulungile is a vibrant and caring space that provides a loving home for children.

Sister Abegail Ntleko

At age 32, after facing racial and gender bias and many obstacles to education, Abegail was part way through her nursing training when she adopted her first child. She says:

"Little did I realize this was just the beginning of a force that would shape the rest of my life. Zuzu was a beautiful gift offered to me. She was the first of more than 20 children I would adopt over the next few decades."

In the face of the AIDS pandemic, and the many children left homeless, Abegail at aged 50 (having raised already 4 children) began adopting again. With AIDS still a huge problem in South Africa, Kulungile, provides for almost 20 children of all ages and is a vital resource. It is truly a loving home, where the children and teenagers are a dynamic force! It is wonderful to feel how the love and wisdom of Abegail enables the children to blossom - they respect and care for Abegail as well as each other. Many of the children have suffered traumas, loss of family, and several have HIV. Abegail works in a very holistic way - supporting education, dance, gardening and caring for each other (just for example) as ways of helping the children to reconnect in themselves and with those around. She also has psychological training which she uses to help the children to process their traumas.

Having recently moved to a much tiny house with few resources, Kulungile is in need of support. At the moment, with the support of Dharmagiri Outreach, Kulungile is fund raising to find a bigger home. If you would like to offer financial or other support please email kulungile108@gmail.com Have a look at the other pages on this site...and prepare to be inspired as well as deeply moved by some of the stories and amazing presence of Abegail and the children.

Please take a moment to see the video and read about it. If you feel moved, please help us realize the dream of a safe house for Sister Abegail Ntleko and her children by making a donation and by sharing on this message. Thanks so much for your kindness. Small acts of kindness build a more hopeful world.

Meet Zethu, Zonke, Massi, Nelly, Thangeka and Lina and listen to them talk about their dreams. Watch the video here!

Sister Abegail Ntleko receiving the 2009 Unsung Hero Award
from His Holiness the Dalai Lama in San Francisco